Homebrew Roots – Hideout Brewing Company
Hidden off of the main roads of Grand Rapids Northeast section near Plainfield and I-96 you will find the Hideout Brewing Company.
Originally, the facility of The Hideout was a hot tub rental by the hour and health spa known as Hubba Tubba. Hubba Tubba opened in the 70’s and was, as weird as it sounds, a hot spot for gatherings. The building was split in half, hot tubs on one side, which is now our storage facility, and the health spa, which is the upstairs of our taproom.
Years later, the health spa was replaced with Hair of the Frog, which was a homebrew kitchen. A homebrew kitchen is a place where home brewers can come and brew their own beer on a bigger system. Also it was a gathering of homebrewers to talk about their recipes, including the various hops and malts they used. The are also a place where brewers can tap into a vast knowledge of homebrewing equipment and skills. Hair of the Frog was the place to be for homebrewers, You could learn all about how to make beer, what beer brewing kits to get, and how to fine tune beer recipes.
Finally in 2005 Hair and the Frog was replaced with The Hideout Brewing Company, owned and operated by Ken and Laura McPhail. Ken is a well seasoned homebrewer, who showed a lot of skill and tenacity in the brewing world. He and his apprentice, Rob Wanhatalo, ran the brewery and produced some great recipes. After 7 years of running The Hideout, Ken handed the reins over to Nick Humphrey and Scott Colson.
Throughout the Hideout’s journey since, Scott and Nick perfected beer recipes, expanded the taproom to 32 tap handles, and signing major distributors. To date, Hideout Brewing Company is distributed statewide and and continues to push forward.
Hideout Brewing Company is pushing forward and constantly writing new beer recipes, totalling well over one hundred different beers, ciders, and meads.
The brewery has a 10 bbl (310 gallon) system, comprised of salvaged tanks used to make a mash tun and kettle. Fermentation takes place in five 55 gallon drums and transferred one keg at a time making it one of the smaller and more hands on systems in the state. This type of system does allow for some advantages over larger systems including the ability to use a wide variety of yeast strains and create a number of specialty products and design new recipes.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at brewing your own beer, check out these great local supply shops: